From one group of essential workers to another, a big thank you

Hope was one of 20 communities where Amber Lights Tribute parades held

From one group of essential workers to another, Hope’s highway maintenance workers got in their trucks, cars and rigs to salute healthcare workers and first responders Wednesday.

The parades came together well said James Hayes, vice president of infrastructure maintenance for Emil Anderson Maintenance. The message, displayed on message boards towed by trucks, was “just a big thank you,” Hayes said.

“The government of B.C. has recognized the highway maintenance industry as an essential service. So we really wanted to recognize all of the healthcare workers, that are an essential service obviously, on the frontlines of this pandemic,” he said.

To honour these workers, the 20 to 25 vehicles parading through Hope went past the Fraser Canyon Hospital.

In Chilliwack, the parade looped around some longterm care facilities. Other Hope companies joined in Wednesday including Emil Anderson Construction, Hope Towing, Mario’s Towing, Jamie Davis Towing, Protech Traffic Control and B.C.’s transportation ministry.

The parade was one of three Emil Anderson organized – in Chilliwack there were over 50 vehicles taking part, in Abbotsford there were around 20 vehicles. There was plenty of interaction with the public – “In that moment specifically, it felt like we were doing something that was bringing the community together, or being appreciated at least by the community,” Hayes said.

Across the province highway maintenance contractors marshalled their Wednesday, with so-called ‘Amber Lights Tribute’ parades in over 20 communities.

While the Canadian economy has been hit hard by COVID-19, Hayes said highway maintenance continues and is currently “completely unaffected.” Isolation is not difficult for most of the company’s highway workers, Hayes said, as a lot of the work they do is spent alone in their vehicles.

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